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Ketan Thakkar
Jul 13, 2018, 07.34 AM IST
Volkswagen Group’s truck brand MAN has put its existing projects in India on hold, in what could be another sign that the tough phase for the German auto major’s commercial vehicle business in the country continues. In June, Scania Trucks and Buses , another division of Volkswagen, said it will stop producing premium buses in the country due to low demand. A spokesperson for MAN Trucks confirmed the development but did not say why the projects were being put on hold. “The board of MAN Trucks Bus has decided to stop all on-going projects in India,” the spokesperson said. “The management team at MAN Trucks in India has been asked to review the situation and present its proposal to the board for future steps. The team is currently reviewing the same.” MAN Trucks, which has been in India for about 15 years now, produces less than 2,000 units per annum. Having carved out a niche for itself in the tipper segment in the country, the truck maker had launched haulage trucks last year to get higher volumes. The move, however, is yet to pay dividends. The company’s production plan for the rest of year is not rosy and off take in the market is also falling, some industry executives said, requesting not to be named. A person close to the company said the earlier plan was to upgrade the existing CLA range to BS VI, but now there is a thought process to develop a completely new architecture for India, hence the existing plans are being put on hold. The decision at MAN not only has vendors and dealers worried, but also fuelled talk of the company’s likely exit from India. Most truck makers in the country are under pressure to transition from BS IV to BS VI emission norms in less than three years (by 2020). The company spokesperson, however, denied there is any such plan. “There are no plans to exit,” he said. In a recent interview with ET, Joerg Mommertz, chairman of MAN Trucks, had said that India is one of the biggest markets in the world and it is one market which the VW Group could not ignore.
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the morning paper

an interesting/influential/important paper from the world of CS every weekday morning, as selected by Adrian Colyer

June 28, 2018
tags: Performance , Software Engineering

How not to structure your database-backed web applications: a study of performance bugs in the wild Yang et al., ICSE’18

This is a fascinating study of the problems people get into when using ORMs to handle persistence concerns in their web applications. The authors study real-world applications and distil a catalogue of common performance anti-patterns. There are a bunch of familiar things in the list, and a few that surprised me with the amount of difference they can make. By fixing many of the issues that they find, Yang et al., are able to quantify how many lines of code it takes to address the issue, and what performance improvement the fix delivers.

To prove our point, we manually fix 64 performance issues in [the latest versions of the applications under study] and obtain a median speed-up of 2x (and up to 39x max) with fewer than 5 lines of code change in most cases.

The Hyperloop website provides access to a tool you can use to identify and solve some of the common performance issues in your own (Rails) apps.

I’m going to skip the intro parts about what ORMs do and how a typical web app is structured, on the assumption that you probably have a good handle on that already. Note that fundamentally a lot of the issues stem from the fact that the ‘O’ in ORM could just as easily stand for ‘Opaque.’

On one hand, it is difficult for application compilers or developers to optimize the interaction between the application and the underlying DBMS, as they are unaware of how their code would translate to queries by the ORM. On the other hand, ORM framework and the underlying DBMS are unaware of the high-level application semantics and hence cannot generate efficient plans to execute queries.

I remember in the early days of Spring (when Hibernate was young too, and JPA didn’t exist) a framework called iBATIS was quite popular amongst people I considered to be good developers. It turns out iBATIS is still going strong, though now it’s called MyBatis . The key selling point is that you retain control over the SQL , without the overheads of directly using an API like JDBC.

The study focuses on Ruby on Rails applications, for which many large open source applications: “ compared to other popular ORM frameworks such as Django and Hibernate, Rails has 2x more applications on GitHub with 400 or more stars than Django and Hibernate combined .” Six popular application categories (covering 90% of all Rails apps with more than 100 stars on GitHub) are further selected, and then the two most popular applications in each category. Resulting in the following twelve apps:

Getting Started

The Clarifai API offers image and video recognition as a service. Whether you have one image or billions, you are only steps away from using artificial intelligence to recognize your visual content.

The API is built around a simple idea. You send inputs (an image or video) to the service and it returns predictions.

The type of prediction is based on what model you run the input through. For example, if you run your input through the 'food' model, the predictions it returns will contain concepts that the 'food' model knows about. If you run your input through the 'color' model, it will return predictions about the dominant colors in your image.

Before you get started, if you haven't created an account and received your free API key, please do so before proceeding with this guide. You can begin making API calls for free, a credit card is not required.

Please note that your account will be limited to 100 API calls until you verify your email address. After verification, you will receive the full amount of API calls under your plan.

All API access is over HTTPS, and accessed via the domain. The relative path prefix /v2/ indicates that we are currently using version 2 of the API.

In the below examples, we use single brackets {variable} to indicate that this is a variable you should replace with a real value.

We recommend using a client library to access the API. We offer official clients in various languages. View our API Clients .

For REST documentation please see the cURL examples.

Our Glossary page will be continously updated with our domain specific terminolgy. You can access it here.

All of our API endpoints return back a status code and description. To see a full list of our API status codes and their descriptions you can visit the following page.

In addition to the API, Clarifai now offers a web site that allows you to preview your Clarifai applications. You can view all the inputs you have added, perform searches and train new models.

You can access the Explorer here

For a step-by-step guide on building and training a custom model using Explorer, checkout this walkthrough.

Note: API Keys have replaced Access Tokens/Client ID Secret

API Keys will now be used to authorize your Clarifai applications. You can go to API Keys page to create a new key. This change will not break existing applications - Access Tokens will be supported until late 2017. You can find more information on our .

Authentication to the API is handled through API Keys. You can limit the scope of an API Key, which enables the key to perform very specific operations on a given app, keeping your app secure.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You lay out qualities of an ethical leader. What are they?

JAMES COMEY: First and foremost, it's someone who realizes that lasting values have to be at the center of their leadership. Whether they're in government or in the private sector or leading a university, they have to focus on things like fairness and integrity and, most of all, the truth. That the truth matters.

James Comey gives first interview since President Trump fired him

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And you have-- there's almost a sense of-- of alarm underneath the whole book. You say it's a dangerous time in our country?

JAMES COMEY: I think it is. And-- I chose those words carefully. I was worried when I chose the word, "Dangerous" first. I thought, "Is that an overstatement?" And I don't think it is because--


JAMES COMEY: I worry that the norms at the center of this country-- we can fight as Americans about guns or taxes or immigration, and we always have. But what we have in common is a set of norms. Most importantly, the truth. "We hold these truths to be self-evident," right? Truth is the fourth word of that sentence. That's what we are. And if we lose that, if we lose tethering of our leaders to that truth, what are we? And so I started to worry. Actually, the foundation of this country is in jeopardy when we stop measuring our leaders against that central value of the truth.

Comey defends his handling of the Clinton email saga in bombshell interview
Comey says Trump presidency is a ‘forest fire’ that can cause ‘tremendous damage’


JAMES COMEY: I think we are in part. But I think the strength of this country is that we're going to outlast it. That there will be damage to that norm. But I liken President Trump in the book to a forest fire. Going to do tremendous damage. Going to damage those important norms. But a forest fire gives healthy things a chance to grow that had no chance before that fire.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: How do we put it out?

JAMES COMEY: We put it out in two ways. We put it out first by not becoming numb to the fact that the truth is being assailed every day. By not deciding that it's just too much to pay attention to because that's the path to losing truth as the central value in this country. So all of us have to constantly be involved and call it out when we see the truth endangered, when we see lying. And then next, we need to get involved. The American people need to stand up in the public square and in the voting booth and say, "Look, we disagree about an awful lot. But we have in common something that matters enormously to this country. And our leaders must reflect those values."

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And-- and why the title, “A Higher Loyalty?”

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